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Ralph Nader: fully-autonomous cars won’t replace all drivers
Consumer advocate and four-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader does not foresee fully-autonomous cars replacing human drivers in the U.S. Citing concerns such as hacking vulnerability, a dearth of open data, the absence of governmental regulation and the unavoidable “human factor,” Nader doesn’t view self-driving cars as a safer alternative to driver-operated vehicles. “There are far too many complex variables that are way beyond the range of Silicon Valley’s algorithms,” he said in an interview with The Detroit News.
Nader rose to fame in 1965 when he published “Unsafe at Any Speed,” an investigative book that examined the rampant lack of vehicle safety throughout the auto industry. During his interview in Detroit, which was conducted on the heels of his induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame, Nader praised Tesla Motors Chief Executive Elon Musk for the work he’s done to advance the use of automated safety features in cars. “He’s a great innovator, he’s really jolted the auto industry and other industries, so you can’t take that away from him; it’s admirable,” Nader said. “But he’s pushing the envelope too far and that often happens to innovators.”
Despite the skepticism and concerns he feels about fully-autonomous cars, Nader said semi-autonomous capabilities, such as automatic braking, are important features that he expects to see more of in the future.
Watch the full interview here.
Fiat Chrysler recalls roughly 410,000 cars for software issue
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that it would recall nearly 410,000 cars to fix a software defect that is causing vehicles to lose acceleration. The recall includes 2015 models of the Chrysler 200, Ram ProMaster City, Jeep Renegade and Cherokee, as well as some 2014 Cherokees, the majority of which are in the U.S.
FCA will install a software update in the vehicles and replace wire harnesses to fix the propulsion issue. No crashes or injuries relating to this issue have been reported.
White House wants 200-mile EV that recharges in 10 minutes
We know first-hand how difficult it can be to chargean electric car in New York City, particularly because of the limited number of charging stations and the time it actually takes for those chargers to do their job. The Obama Administration is hoping to fix both issues. The White House has rolled out a new set of goals and guidelines for electric vehicles that includes more public charging stations, bigger government EV fleets and more powerful chargers that can juice up an electric car with a 200-mile range in 10 minutes or less.
The announcement, which follows the Department of Energy’s Sustainable Transportation Summit held earlier this month, calls for public chargers with speeds of 350 kW, more than triple that of Tesla’s 145-kw Supercharger. Additionally, the DOE will host a “Hackathon” in an effort to troubleshoot electric vehicle technology and find new methods for more efficient charging.
Audi will have three electric car models by 2020
In the wake of the “Dieselgate” emissions tampering scandal, Volkswagen has shifted its focus to other alternative fuel sources—namely electric batteries—and its Audi brand appears to be the primary proving ground for the technology. Audi plans to have three electric car models by 2020 and it expects EVs make up 25 to 30 percent of its sales by 2025.
At least some of those electric vehicles will likely be built in North America, as Volkswagen Group of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken announced last week his company’s plans to set up shop for EV production in either Tennessee or Mexico by 2020.
Get hooked up with the vehicle of your dreams with car Tinder
Searching for a new car is now as simple as flipping through photos on your cell phone. A new app, Wyper, allows users to quickly rifle through cars from 29,000 dealerships, eBay Motors and various other private listings within a 200-mile radius through a system that functions like the popular dating app, Tinder.
Much like Tinder allows its users to apply filters for age and location, Wyper users can narrow down the more than 2 million cars in the apps database by model, category, color, engine and other features. Predictive software tracks which vehicles a user affirms or “swipes right” on in order to establish preferences.
Source: Automotive News
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